Stephen Hawking on the universe and god

Recently religious apologists have taken to harping on the question “How can something come from nothing?” because they think that science cannot explain how the universe came into existence. Of course, their own answer that “God must have done it!” is not an answer at all since it merely shifts the problem to that of how god could come into being from nothing.

Stephen Hawking has recently published a book that says that we can indeed understand how the universe came into being without invoking god. The idea itself has been known for sometime but when Hawking says it, it generates a lot of media attention. Cosmologist Sean Carroll explains Hawking’s ideas in a three-minute video.

In short, science has not proved that there is no god (because such proofs are impossible) but has shown is there is no need for god.


  1. Jared A says

    I am in agreement with your point about the prime mover sacred cow, but I don’t think that Hawking will change any minds. All the other guys need to say is, “Yeah, but where did the law of gravity come from? Magic Man dunnit.”

  2. says

    Ha. My comment on Kurt Godel jumped the gun a bit this a.m.

    I am not religious. But I still think that saying that showing that there is no need for god begs the question: what kind of need? I for one am not satisfied that science can, without becoming itself a sort of faith, address that need. And I think that scientists who keep hammering on this question are primarily seeking (merely) to elevate their own status rather than address a legitimate scientific or religious question.

  3. says

    I hope you will review Hawking’s book and help those of us without a tremendous theoretical background understand how gravity (which I always thought was inextricably linked to mass) could cause the universe to be born out of nothing (by definition, no mass). Considering that no mass-less universe has been discovered scientifically, isn’t a claim that something could arise out of nothing--by scientific operation-- just as spectacular a form of spiritual belief as anything presented by myth or religion?

  4. says


    People might feel an emotional need for god that science cannot satisfy but that is not what I am talking about. What I am saying is that there is nothing about the existence of the universe that requires the postulation of a supernatural creator.

    As for the implications of Godel’s theorem (which I hope to write about in some depth later), as you pointed out in an earlier comment, it says that no sufficiently complex system can be shown to be both consistent and complete. In particular, the theorem says that you can construct true statements within that system that cannot be proven to be true. But that does not mean that you can choose any statement you want (i.e., “God exists”) and assert that it is such a true statement. The unprovable true statements depends on the axioms and rules of logic of the system and what is unprovable in one system can be provable in another.

  5. Shailesh says

    Mano --I agree with you on pint that till we get some proof any argument should not be concluded with existance of god keeping emotions as the ground base.Arguments should move around what science can explain.But aren’t many things actually magical in appearance like dreams and conscience ,premonition.

  6. says


    Dreams are not magical, in that they can be easily explained. There is no evidence that premonition actually occurs in dreams or otherwise. The occasional coincidence that we think or dream of someone and then something may happen to that person can easily be explained statistically.

  7. says


    My point was not really that because science cannot disprove god, god perforce exists. Rather, many people have experiential basis for belief in god, either through what they consider direct communication from god, or some other form of experience. This evidence is simply not capable of being weighed by science. People have a yearning to be right, and they seek to prove it any way they can. I think we can agree that religionists seeking to prove the existence of god scientifically are barking up the wrong tree, but my point is that scientists seeking to prove the scientific non-necessity of religion (a tired old point, really) are essentially up to the same thing. They are flamboyantly trashing a straw man in order to elevate their own prestige. Although to be fair, I’m not saying Hawking was doing this, since I haven’t read his latest. Speaking more of general tenor of the dispute.

  8. Charles Stevens says

    The simple fact is that Professor Hawking should return to the black hole that god made for him since he advances no argument beyond those offered many years ago by the fakers Laplace and Lagrange. For the uninformed mathematical physicists, those who don’t know up from down (and these are the vast majority), “god” is the nickname among mathematicians for one Kurt Gödel .
    (See discussion on “Is it possible that black holes do not exist? ” on Physics Forums for relevant citations.)
    In any case all rational scientific discourse has been effectively banned since the illegal shutdown of the first international scientific association and journal in 1837 by the Duke of Clarence, Ernest Augustus. See Percy Byssh Shelley’s Mask of Anarchy for a pertinent depiction of the Duke of Clarence, the face behind Castlereagh. A simple google search for “(“magnetic union” OR “Magnetischer Verein”) AND (“Göttingen Seven” OR “Göttinger Sieben”) gauss weber” shows that there has been no serious discussion of that action on the subsequent development of scientific practice.
    We must assume therefore that the concurrent and congruent Augustin-Louis Cauchy scientific method of theft, assassination, plagiarize at leisure remains hegemonic. Chuck Stevens 571-252-0451

  9. says

    This is the most pointless argument imaginable. God or no God…it’s a question that will be answered for everyone of us when we take our last breath. I’ll still put my faith in God over Stephen Hawking any day.

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